Within the single bag I traveled for three weeks with, I used up precious space to take a fleece pull over, thermal underwear, gloves, hat, and a jacket all for the one day I would spend in Chamonix, France….and it was worth the effort!
Originally my plan was to start in the Italy side and take a gondola (ski lift or cable car) from there to Chamonix, but that got shot down as soon as I found out one of the six cable cars was out of order until 2015. Plan B had me booking a bus to Chamonix and arriving at 10pm. The next day I got going for the first lift at 8:30am all the way to the top (one of the highest cable cars in the world).
When I was buying my ticket I found out the cable car out to Helbronner was closed, which I really wanted to do since it is 5 km long (one of the longest) and goes over a glacier (see 1st photo), plus the building at the very top of the peak I was going to was also closed. With both things closed the 55 euro seems pretty pricy, but it turned out to be well worth it.
I went to very top and had stunning views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. The morning sky was clear, crisp, and COLD (good thing I brought all that stuff). Turns out the mornings are the best and then the clouds roll in. There were a lot of mountain climbers starting treks from here and the ridge they hiked along was impressive. I even met another Shane up there!
After I had my fill I went down the first cable car and walked around the middle lift about halfway up the mountain looking for good photos and videos of the cable car. It was here that I found a little lunch hut just over a very small hill and had soup and coco with just about the most spectacular view ever (see the photo tomorrow). I met a lady having coco also and we ended up hiking down the mountain back to Chamonix. What a perfect day!!!!!!